Remaining the most powerful country, however, is not the same thing as remaining the guarantor of a liberal international order.
Like the twentieth century, the twenty-first century will be dominated by the United States.
But whereas the previous “American century” was built on a liberal vision of the U.S. role in the world, what we might be witnessing today is the dawn of an illiberal American century.
The best hope for the liberal world order is that future U.S. administrations find ways to channel growing nationalist impulses in internationalist directions.
Compared with leading a global liberal order, this more nationalist version of U.S. engagement may seem stingy and uninspiring.